Infertility refers to a condition when a woman cannot conceive even after having carefully timed and unprotected sex for over a year. It is difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of infertility. However, it may occur due to inadequate levels of some hormones in both men and women and also due to trouble with ovulation in women. A man suffers from infertility if the semen that he ejaculates contains less number of sperms and if the sperm is of low quality. In such a scenario, a man will not be able to reproduce.
There are different factors which can contribute to a man getting infertile. A man can suffer from infertility if he suffers from a condition called varicoceles, or from diseases or conditions like diabetes, cystic fibrosis, trauma, infection, testicular failure or has been exposed to chemotherapy or radiation. Other causes may include alcohol addiction, smoking, use of anabolic steroids and exposure to environmental toxins. A woman can suffer from infertility if any of the organs such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes or the uterus gets damaged.
Treating infertility in men involves treatment for premature ejaculation, varicoceles, blockage of the ejaculation duct, retrograde ejaculation and also surgery for epididymal blockage. A woman may have to take some medications if she is suffering from ovulation disorders. Other treatments for women include intrauterine insemination and even surgery to restore fertility.
A doctor may advise a couple to have more sex per week so as to enable the woman to conceive. However, infertility in men can be due to a number of different reasons and their treatments differ too. Medication and behavioral therapy can help a man to overcome general sexual problems like premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction. A varicose vein in the scrotum, which can cause infertility, can be surgically removed. In case of blockage of the ejaculatory duct, sperm can be injected into an egg in the laboratory after it has been extracted directly from the testicles. Retrograde ejaculation is treated by taking sperm directly from the bladder and later injected into eggs. The epididymis is a coil-like structure in the testicles that help to store and transport sperm. Surgery can help to remove the blockage if it gets blocked.
A woman suffering from ovulation disorders will be prescribed fertility drugs like clomifene, metformin, human menopausal gonadotrophin, human chorionic gonadotrophin, bromocriptine and follicle stimulating hormone. In addition to these, there are surgical procedures for women. Fallopian tube surgery helps to repair damaged or scarred fallopian tubes and makes it easier for eggs to pass through them. Laparoscopic surgery also helps to increase fertility.
There are some methods which help in assisted conception like intrauterine insemination, in vitro fertilization, intracytoplasmic sperm injection, donating sperm or egg, assisted hatching and surgical sperm aspiration.
A man should becomes eligible for treatment after he has been diagnosed as suffering from such by a doctor. This is because there are no apparent signs or symptoms of infertility in men. The quantity and quality of the semen also appear normal to the naked eye. Therefore the tests that can identify infertility in men are semen analysis, hormone testing, genetic testing, testicular biopsy, imaging and other specialty testing. In case of women, some of the conditions that may make them infertile are irregular or no menstrual periods, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, very painful periods or multiple miscarriages. Some of the specific fertility tests that help to understand whether a woman is infertile are ovulation testing, hysterosalpingography, ovarian reserve testing, hormone testing and imaging tests.
A person is known to be infertile if he/she has not being able to have a baby even after having frequent and unprotected sex for a year. A man or woman is not eligible for treatment if he/she has been able to make the partner conceive/ conceive herself after having unprotected sex. A person is also not eligible if none of the tests have been able to diagnose him/her as suffering from the condition.
Oral fertility drugs produce milder effects than injectable fertility drugs. The most common side-effects of fertility drugs are bloating, breast tenderness, upset stomach, hot flashes, mood swings and headache. The side effects of gonadotrophins are headache, upset stomach, mood swings, acne, weight gain, abnormal menstrual bleeding, dizziness and even upper respiratory tract infection. Some of the serious side effects of fertility drugs are changes in vision, ectopic pregnancy, ovarian torsion, ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome and allergic reactions. However, the most common side-effect of infertility treatment is a multiple pregnancy.
A person should adopt a healthy lifestyle to make sure that he/she does not get affected by this condition. Smoking and consumption of alcohol increases the risks of infertility and should be avoided. It is of utmost importance for an overweight man to lose some weight. Both men and women should exercise as a sedentary lifestyle increases the risks of infertility. Furthermore, a healthy diet containing adequate quantities of folic acid, iron, zinc and vitamin B-12 should be adopted. A person should also reduce stress as it reduces the chances of conception.
A woman who has undergone laparoscopic surgery can probably go home on the day of the surgery itself. However, a woman will take about 2-3 weeks to recover from the surgery. Research has shown a person can again reproduce within a time span of 2 months- 2 years after successful treatment. A lot of factors determine how soon a person will recover after taking infertility drugs. Some of the factors are the person’s age, health, medical issues and others. A person taking clomiphene will normally see positive results after 5-12 days of taking the last clomiphene pill.
The cost of laparoscopic surgery in India generally ranges between Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakhs. The surgery to remove the varicose vein in the scrotum of a man may cost something between Rs 90,000 and Rs 1,50,000. Clomephene, used to treat infertility in women, costs around Rs 650 per cycle. The prices may vary with other variations of this drug. An ICSI treatment costs between Rs 1,50,000 to RS 2,50,000 while Frozen Embryo Transfer procedure will cost a patient an additional Rs 1,20,000.
A person who has undergone successful treatment for infertility is generally able to reproduce within 2 years. However, this is not a permanent result. A person may again have infertility problems due to leading an unhealthy lifestyle like smoking, drinking or by not being active. Some health issues also may have an effect on the fertility of men and women.
When infertility issues come up due to hormonal problems, using a natural progesterone cream can help a person to address it. Consumption of herbs like red raspberry leaf, nettle leaf, dandelion, alfalfa, red clover, maca and chaste tree berry also help to cure infertility. Getting enough sleep has also proved to play an important part in treating infertility problems.
1 lakhs to 3.7 lakhs
Intrauterine insemination is a comparatively simpler treatment used for fertility purpose. It is performed without the use of any fertility drugs. In this procedure, the semen is transferred to the uterus by using a thin catheter after a special washing treatment.
There are various reasons which can contribute to the IUI treatment which are mentioned below:
Infertility of males: One of the most prominent reasons for undergoing this procedure is when a male produces low sperm count or have very low motility of sperms.
Presence of hostile cervical mucus
This type of mucus is inappropriate for becoming pregnant. It can occur due to the substance abuse where the adverse effects of drug consumption are prevalent such as infertility producing drugs, imbalance of hormones and other infections. Hostile mucus can be acidic, contain inflammatory cells or antibodies that can cause harm to sperms and may be excessively thick, dry or sticky in physical appearance.
When the sexual intercourse is painful
The complications such as the dryness of vagina, cysts in ovaries and endometriosis (where a female experiences severe pain and cramps during menstruation or ovulation), unusually tight hymen, any cancerous tissue, etc. can be the reasons that make it nearly impossible for her to get pregnant.
A woman is consuming any medications for fertility, and then there is a risk associated with respect to getting pregnant with multiples. The success rate of IUI is affected by several factors which are as following:
Hence you can always have a discussion with your medical health provider before opting for this procedure by keeping in mind the various factors, risk factors and cost involved. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is an artificial procedure similar to IVF. This technique is mostly preferred in case of severe male infertility issues like ejaculatory failure, low sperm count and Azoospermia. ICSI is a refined version of IVF where a single sperm is strengthened and injected into female ova (egg) to initiate conception. The diagnostic and screening process is similar to IVF. ICSI is recommended when:
Some couples have already used ICSI successfully and rate it highly as it is convenient and the possibility of congenital disabilities is minimal. The advantages of ICSI far outweigh the risks involved. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Frozen Embryo Transfer or FET is an extremely effective method to conceive a pregnancy. Recent studies have proved that there is a increased chance for pregnancy when the embryos, which get used are frozen and get placed inside the uterus at a time right after the ovaries are stimulated. Still, certain issues can arise with the transfer of frozen embryo, such as:
A Thin Lining of the Uterus
Research has shown that there are not many women who get pregnant if the lining in their uterine does not tend to thicken enough. It is not clear exactly why this problem occurs in most women and moreover there is no sure shot treatment to make the lining of the uterine thick. The experts on fertility would try out different methods like increasing the amount of estrogen or change the way how estrogen is given. There are other instances when women might be given supplemental medicines, while for some, the problem will continue to exist.
What Should Be Done In Case The Problem Persists?
For enabling the embryos to get implanted into uterus, placing them very precisely and at the appropriate time is important. This is regarded as the window of implantation. The time taken, is based on the time frame since progesterone reaches the lining of the uterine.
Doctor knows the exact time to place the embryos, right from the time he or she instructs a woman to start having progesterone supplements. In case a woman was to ovulate, the production of progesterone would begin earlier than the normal time and would lead to the shift of the window of implantation. As identifying the correct time of ovulation is almost impossible, so that would lead to some sort of uncertainty into the timing.
Due to this reason, there are doctors who would use medication in order to prevent unexpected ovulation from occurring. Generally an injection called Lupron is usually used as medication.
Timing for the Embryo Transfer is Inappropriate
This is a problem related to early ovulation. There are case when the implantation window is shifted, still the timing of the transfer becomes accurate. Recent studies have shown that quite a nominal percentage of women might have a window of implantation, which could be either earlier or later than normal time. A test called the Endometrial Receptivity Array can help determine at what time is the window of implantation open. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
It is no longer a secret that, both obese males, as well as females, could be victims of infertility. Estrogen is produced primarily in our ovaries. But more than 30 percent of the estrogen in our body is produced by fat cells. In a normal weight person, the amount of estrogen produced is adequate.
In an obese person, there will be extra deposits of fat which will be secreting excess estrogen. This estrogen excess interferes with ovulation and causes irregular menstrual cycles. In women who are severely obese (with BMIs ranging from 35-40), the hormonal imbalance becomes so severe that it can cause problems with conception leading to infertility.
List of problems related to obesity and fertility:
Obese men have lower circulating testosterone which affects sperm production known as spermatogenesis. This affects the quantity and quality of a man's sperm. Obese men have increased the risk of oligozoospermia, having fewer than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen, and far fewer motile sperm than a man of healthy weight. Sperm with high amounts of damaged DNA is significantly more common in obese men than in normal-weight men. Ejaculate volume is also affected. Altered male hormones can also give erectile dysfunction which is the major cause of infertility in obese men.
Bariatric surgery - Experience it to believe it!
If Obesity is the root cause of infertility in the males or the females, losing weight is the first step in increasing the chances of fertility. Loss of significant weight leads to a gamete of changes in the hormones, thus resetting the balance as before. In my practice, I have seen the impossible become possible in just a matter of 6 to 12 months after significant weight loss. Couples who have been knocking doors of fertility centers ranging from 3 years of married life till 17 years of married life have yielded excellent results after weight loss surgery/ bariatric surgery. However, I have been very choosy in selecting my cases. By this I mean to choose cases in whom the only reason not to conceive is morbid obesity, wherein all other causes of infertility have been ruled out. Loss of the first 15 to 20 kgs sets the periods back to regularity. In fact now we have to ask the couples to please take precautions to avoid pregnancy until the mother is able to take in adequate quantities of food intake (as it takes few months for the stomach to stretch after bariatric surgery).
In my practice, I have witnessed gratifying results after bariatric surgery in Bangalore in terms of both primary infertility as well as secondary infertility due to Obesity. Be it the sleeve gastrectomy or the gastric bypass.
It is a myth that one can’t get pregnant after bariatric surgery. The other myth is that bariatric surgery affects the intrauterine growth of the baby. For obese mothers who are infertile and also have diabetes, bariatric surgery offers a triple benefit, freedom from obesity, infertility as well as diabetes. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Diabetes is often associated with heart diseases. In fact, many people do not know that their kidneys and eyes, too, can be affected due to the increased blood sugar levels. Fertility is often forgotten in this list. Yes, diabetes can lower the fertility rates. In men, it can cause erectile dysfunction and decrease libido. In women, the issues are different. But you should not lose hope if you are a diabetic and want to get pregnant. Controlled sugar levels and healthy body weight can help you become a mother. It should also be understood that diabetes alone cannot be the reason for you not getting pregnant. Several underlying factors such as obesity, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and irregular periods can be responsible as well.
Diabetes and hormonal disturbances: PCOS results in higher amounts of testosterone, which is the male hormones. This leads to abnormal periods, or at times, the periods are absent in women affected with this disorder. PCOS is often associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes. In women affected by diabetes, the fertility period is lowered. For instance, if a woman without diabetes can conceive up to 40 years, the diabetic woman can conceive up to 34 to 36 years only. This also means that menopause occurs early in such women. Oligomenorrhea and secondary amenorrhea are often connected to type 2 diabetes. It is also seen when these women have a control over their sugar levels, their fertility rate improves.
Type 1 diabetes and fertility: When a woman is affected by type 1 diabetes, mensuration ceases in most cases. Studies indicate that only 2 percent of the women who are affected by type 1 diabetes are able to conceive. While treatment can bring back mensuration in these women, irregular periods cannot be treated successfully. With controlled sugar levels, one can find chances of improved fertility rates. For this, even during the planning period, the woman has to control sugar levels. You can still become pregnant even when you are dependent on insulin. Your requirement dosage can differ. So, check with your primary care provider and gynecologist on the same. Your sugar levels should also be under control throughout your pregnancy.
Type 2 diabetes and fertility: In case of type 2 diabetes, which has begun to develop even in young women, there is a negative impact on the fertility rates. In the past, type 2 diabetes, also known as diabetes mellitus, was common only in the age group of 45 and above. But, lifestyle modifications and food habits have made it common even in the younger age group recently. This has resulted in the lowering of the fertile years and an early advancement of menopause. In women who have hormonal imbalance and diabetes, the combo paves the way to PCOS. Obesity is one of the reasons that trigger both diabetes and PCOS. With additional healthcare, you can become pregnant with diabetes mellitus. A healthy diet plan and exercise routine are recommended by the doctors.
If you are diabetic and planning for pregnancy, ensure that you take proper care to manage blood sugar levels. Enhanced glucose levels can only increase the risk for diabetes in the child. A healthy pregnancy is assured with controlled diabetes.